5 Most Popular Sports in Australia for Sports Betting

by | 25 Jun 2022

Australia is a country that loves its sports, and betting on sports is an equally beloved tradition in the country. A wide array of sports capture the attention of bettors, but these sports sit at the top of the list when talking about the most integral sports in the world of an average Australian bettor.

1. Australian Rules Football

Aussie Rules, as it’s widely known, is a football code indigenous to Australia that is set apart by its use of a unique oval-shaped ball. It has a strong and loyal fan base, and it’s not surprising that it’s also a popular sport for betting. Since its inception in 1897, originally known as the Victorian Football League, the AFL has grown every year — blooming into a staple of Australian sports culture.

The AFL season starts in March and ends in September, with the Grand Final being the most-watched game of the year. One interesting bit about the AFL (and the NRL) is a tradition called the “Wooden Spoon Award” where at the end of a season, the team that finishes at the bottom of the ladder receives a wooden spoon trophy.

Related: Top 3 Sports for Successful Arbitrage Betting

2. Horse Racing

Horse racing is another beloved sport for betting and one that enjoys a long and rich history in Australia. The various racecourses in the country host numerous races throughout the year, with the most notable event of each year being the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

The most high-profile race of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the Melbourne Cup — one of the richest horse races in the world. It’s known as “the race that stops the nation” and takes place on the first Tuesday of November every year. The race attracts millions of fans from all over the world, and it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the most bet-on sporting events in the country.

Horse racing has a whole betting category of its own, boasting an extensive list of bet types. You can read our full guide here:

3. Rugby League

Rugby league, also known as the NRL, is a significant aspect of Australian sports. It’s a contact sport that originated in England and has since spread throughout the world, leaving a mark on Australian culture. Similar to the AFL, the NRL season runs from March to September.

Rugby has a long-standing presence in Australia, with accounts of the game being played in the Colony of New South Wales dating back to the 1840s. The National Rugby League has since been the premier rugby league competition in the country. 

4. Cricket

Cricket is the most popular summer sport in Australia, which is televised throughout the season. Cricket is played both at the professional and amateur level, with the most popular format being Test cricket, which is played over a five-day period.

The Ashes Series, a biennial contest between Australia and England, is a significant event for cricket fans in Australia. The rivalry between the two countries only fuels the betting frenzy in Australia, let alone worldwide. One of the greatest cricketers of all time, Sir Donald Bradman hails from Australia. He achieved numerous records and accomplishments during his career, including scoring a record-breaking 334 runs in a single Test innings.

Related: Grasp These Basics of Cricket Betting to Become a Seasoned Punter

5. Tennis

Tennis is a popular sport for betting, with the Australian Open being the most prominent event. The Australian Open is a Grand Slam tournament and is one of the most significant events in the tennis calendar. The tournament attracts the world’s best tennis players competing in different stadiums all over the world.

In addition to the Australian Open, other prestigious tennis events held across the year contribute to the popularity of tennis as a betting sport in Australia. Tournaments like the ATP Cup, the Adelaide International, and the Brisbane International attract top-level players and generate significant interest from both fans and bettors.

Rich Sports Betting Culture in Australia

Sports betting is a time-honored tradition in Australia, and these five sports form the backbone of the country’s betting culture. Betting on these sports will remain an integral part of Australian culture, and it is more than just about making a profit. Sports betting enhances the experience of witnessing a sports game and strengthens the camaraderie between men and women who participate in these activities.

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